(CES 2020) LG’s rollable TV could go on sale as early as H1: CEO

January 9, 2020

LG Electronics Inc. may begin selling its rollable OLED TV as early as the first half of the year, the South Korean company’s new CEO said Wednesday, expressing hope the launch will help expand the company’s presence in the premium TV sector.

Brian Kwon, who became LG Electronics’ CEO in late November, said the company’s rollable TV is expected to hit the market no later than the end of the third quarter.

LG Electronics showcased a rollable TV, which comes with a 65-inch screen that rises from a box and can be rolled up inside, at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Visitors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) take photos of LG Electronics Inc.'s rollable TVs at the company's CES booth in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 8, 2020. (Yonhap)
LG Electronics Inc.'s cooking robot is displayed at the company's booth at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 7, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Visitors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) take photos of LG Electronics Inc.’s rollable TVs at the company’s CES booth in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 8, 2020. (Yonhap)

At that time, the company said the uniquely designed TV would be released on the market within the year.

Kwon said the product release was delayed due to a tight OLED display schedule. OLED sheets for LG’s rollable TVs are produced by its affiliate LG Display Co.

“OLED supply was very tight,” Kwon said at a press conference for Korean reporters at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Since the screen is rollable, it gets more stress than foldable displays, and it turned out we needed some time to secure reliability on the product.”

At CES 2020, LG introduced a different model of its rollable TV with a screen that rolls down from the ceiling. LG said its latest version of the rollable TV, however, will not be available at least until next year.

Asked about LG releasing foldable screen products, such as smartphones, Kwon said the company has a “question mark” on foldables.

“I think our competitor has different thoughts on foldables,” he said. “We are opting to prepare a product that can change the premium market even if it takes some time.”

Kwon, who previously led LG’s mobile communications and home entertainment business division, said the company will focus on digital transformation to deliver better customer value.

The company plans to link content and services with various hardware and will seek growth based on connected devices.

For the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) development, Kwon said the company is on track to pursue its AI strategy announced last year at CES, which is comprised of three stages: open, connect and evolve.

At this year’s CES, LG introduced a structured framework for the development of AI.

“Various LG smart products can absorb other companies’ AI solutions such as from Google and Amazon, which means we’re nearly complete in the stage of open,” he said. “This year, we’re focusing on the connect stage, (in) which various smart devices are connected together to create new value and deliver upgraded customer value.”